Seeping Sniping
December 27, 2019


U.N. experts are calling on Pakistan to overturn the blasphemy conviction of Junaid Hafeez, which carries a death sentence. Reuters reports: In 2013 students at the university where Hafeez taught accused him of making blasphemous Facebook posts. Insulting Islam’s Prophet Mohammad carries a mandatory death penalty in Pakistan, which is about 95% Muslim. His lawyers …

An Artificial and Disenchanted World
December 26, 2019


The very small fire set by Christianity Today‘s anti-Trump editorial spreads to the Christian Post, where political editor Napp Nazworth resigns when his website chooses to attack Christianity Today. The Washington Post reports: Nazworth, who has been critical of Trump and suggested leaders who supported him have “traded their moral authority,” said he doesn’t know …

The Selfish Get to Live as Angels, and All Good People Will Be Damned
December 24, 2019


Amanda Marcotte explains how the word “Christian,” when used by today’s conservatives, has little to do with faith, and a lot to do with whiteness: Trump has simply revealed the large majority of white evangelical Christians for who they are: Not people motivated by sincere faith, but people who see “Christian” primarily as an identity …

I Know Windmills Very Much
December 23, 2019


Since I finally got to see Rise of Skywalker last night (it was really good and fun and not perfect!) I’ll lead with Tara Isabella Burton’s piece on how we are all Jedi now: [Religiously unaffiliated] Americans aren’t, of course, becoming literal Jedis. But we hardly need to carry a light saber to find ourselves …

Writing “The Night Before Christmas”: Who Dunnit?
December 19, 2019


Arguably the best known and most loved children’s poem in the English language, an “Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas”—better known as “The Night Before Christmas”—has long been the subject of a very adult controversy over its authorship. First published anonymously in a New York newspaper, the Troy Sentinel, on December 23, 1823, the …

Elbert Hubbard on Robert Green Ingersoll
December 19, 2019


Elbert Hubbard (1856–1915) published many books, periodicals, and other series through the Roycrofters in East Aurora, New York. Without going into much detail, Hubbard brought the Arts and Crafts Movement to the United States around 1895 with the founding of his artisan community. The Roycrofters had a very distinctive style and were known for their …

Besmirching Prevaricators
December 19, 2019


The president says he in in full support of the separation of church and state, and opposes measures that would weaken it. Oh, I’m sorry, I should clarify. The president of Mexico said this. I can see why you might have been confused. The AP reports: President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Wednesday he does …

Interactions with Incorrect Ideas
December 18, 2019


Pope Francis ends the “pontifical secrecy” rule that keeps everything involving sexual abuse investigations under wraps, and will now make documents and information available to “lawful authorities” upon request. We shall see. Here we go again. Okay, okay, I know we said that blue light from screens is the worst and will absolutely ruin your …

Depression, The Chemical Imbalance Myth, and What Causes Depression
December 17, 2019


Depression affects a relatively large portion of Americans. It is normal to feel depressed on occasion, but severe negative moods and lack of interest in what was once considered a pleasurable activity, for a prolonged length of time (everyday for 2 weeks), may reflect major depressive disorder. Approximately 16% of Americans will experience major depressive …

Shalom with Legs
December 17, 2019


The Washington Post seems to be in a sort of grief state over climate change. (Me too!) I mean, look at the opening of its editorial: Think back only four years. A U.S. president was committed to American global leadership and honesty about climate change. At a conference center in Paris, after decades of frustrated …